While visiting my aunt and uncle about a year ago, I was shocked to see my uncle, a very well off, successful man that works for one of the biggest corporations in the world walking around the yard in green sweatpants and a purple t-shirt. At first I could not figure out why a very financially successful, middle aged man with two kids would be walking around in the same outfit that the crazy homeless guy outside the university’s entry way wears. Then it came to me: this was a sign that he has ‘made it’.
As times have changed, so have the ways in which men display their financial ‘status’ to those around them. In the middle ages being overweight was a status symbol, as only those who had plenty of resources had the means to become overweight (now being overweight likely means you have to work two jobs to make ends meet leaving you with no time to exercise). In the 50’s and 60’s, having a big house or fast car was a status symbol. As I have matured, however (or failed to as my girlfriend will tell you), I have become fascinated with the most subtle of all status symbols: sweatpants.
You heard me correctly. Sweatpants are the big house or Ferrari of the new millennium. Don’t believe me? I can tell you this much: right now, as a lowly graduate student with nearly no money, there is no way in hell that I can get away with wearing sweatpants. If I wore them around the house, my girlfriend would call me a loser. If I wore them in public, the consequences could be far worse. If I were particularly well off, however, I could certainly get away with wearing sweatpants in my free time. If my girlfriend didn’t like it, I could do what many wealthy men before me have done: sit down in a la-Z-boy, tune her out, and watch football. Once you have ‘made it’, there is really no need to impress anyone anymore, and I really can’t think of any attire more comfortable than sweatpants.
Once I am in a more financially sound position, I will wear sweatpants (the kind with the elastic around the ankle, to be exact) whenever I have the opportunity. I will most likely compliment them with a t-shirt or sweatshirt that has one of those nature murals on the front. You know, the kind that has some sort of airbrush painting of a wolf or moose or something like that. Once I am able to wear one of these outfits with no real consequences, I will know that I have finally ‘made it’.